BeerSmith 2.0 – A First Look

by Brad Smith on May 2, 2011 · 114 comments

I’m happy to announce that BeerSmith 2.0 is well into its beta test phase, and the pre-order is now open. It took over three years and 55,000 lines of code to get to this point, but I wanted a solid foundation for the future of BeerSmith. I thought I would take a few minutes this week to share a few screen shots and some of the details of the new version, though I plan to publish a lot more in the coming weeks.

The first thing to know is that BeerSmith 2 is not an “update” to BeerSmith 1.4 – it is a complete redesign of the program from the ground up. That has allowed me to redesign the foundations for the program and also take a hard look at what features worked best and which ones people would most like to see in the new version.

Macintosh and PC Support

Rewriting the program also gave me a chance to go cross platform – for both PC and Mac. Over 60 people are testing the new program on both platforms, and the two versions are nearly identical on both systems. I intend to release the two versions simultaneously so Mac users will now have the same full featured BeerSmith program available on the PC.

PC Version

Macintosh Version

A New Look, Familiar Feel

The basic platform for BeerSmith 1.0 was started way back in 2002 – and though it has served thousands of brewers very well over the years, it was starting to show its age. BeerSmith 2.0 has a significantly updated look and feel – including a ribbon bar, liberal use of high resolution graphics and icons, and a lot of options to customize the platform.

At the same time, the new version maintains the features you are most familiar with including all of the separate tools, custom reports and detailed ingredient databases you have used over the years.

Tabbed and Windowed Browsing

Tabbed and Windowed Browsing

One of the biggest features brewers wanted was a way to work on more than one recipe or tool at a time. After all, you can open a bunch of web pages in your web browser – why not your brewing software? So I added tabbed and windowed browsing to BeerSmith 2.0. You can open any recipe, tool or item in a tab or in a separate window and work on it the way you want. Want to work on three recipes at a time? No problem – they will open in three different tabs. Have multiple monitors? You can open as many windows as you like and spread them across all your screens.

Tabbed Browsing Details

Improved Recipe Design

The improved recipe design tool gives you a graphical look at your recipe – from the large glass showing the color of your beer to the graphical style guide comparison. Since a lot of people asked for different fields to be added to the recipe design display, I decided to make them all happy – the section in the lower right lets you pick from dozens fields detailing your recipe.

Graphical Recipe Design

Many existing users of BeerSmith are familiar with the Equipment and Mash profiles that make scaling to match your equipment or selecting a new mash profile as easy as choosing from a list. In BeerSmith 2, I’ve extended that concept to include carbonation and fermentation – you can pick from a preloaded set of carbonation and fermentation/aging profiles and apply them to a recipe.

Style Guide and "Pick your own" Fields

Formulate Recipes by Percent

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked-for features was the ability to formulate recipes by grain percentage. Now you can do exactly that – add your grains and then use the grain percent button to adjust the percentages.

Adjust Grains by Percent

Beyond Design

While the recipe design page still offers everything you need to build great beers, many advanced users wanted to be able to look under the hood to see details about their brewing session. So in addition to the design tab for building recipes, there are now tabs for yeast starters, mash details, fermentation, water and notes. As a beginning or even intermediate brewer, you may not every need to look at these details as the design tool has what you need to get started — but the details are there when you want them.

Mash Tab for a Recipe

Add More to BeerSmith 2

A lot of people liked the recipe packs and vendor specific ingredients I had as downloads for BeerSmith 1.0. But they did not like how hard it was to add them. So for BeerSmith 2, I’ve added a “Add-on” manager that lets you grab updated ingredient files and recipe packs from the web.

Download Add-ons From the Web

The Other Great Stuff You Expect from BeerSmith

I’ve carried over the best features from BeerSmith 1.4 as well. These include step by step instructions for any recipe, multiple report formats (HTML and text, including the ability to make your own reports), the ability to read and write BeerSmith 1.x files – even on the Macintosh, full support for metric, english and imperial units, in-field math and unit conversion, and much more. BeerSmith 2.0 even has support built in for translation – making it possible to have non-english speaking versions built by the BeerSmith community.

When is it Coming?

I’m targeting an early June release date for BeerSmith 2.0 – before the AHA National Homebrewer Conference in mid-June. The pricing and preorder information are available here – and if you order during the preorder period you can get a substantial discount!



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{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

Golddiggie May 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Brad, which email address should we send the request to? I have a BlackBerry Storm2 right now, and am seriously looking at tablets. I’ll be more inclined to consider an Android powered model IF I can get some solid brewing software for it.

Bill Freiburger May 6, 2011 at 8:04 am

Hey Brad,

I have really enjoyed v1.4, count me in for v2.0.
BTW when are you planning on releasing v3.0? Ha, ha just kidding.

Just thought I would start the band wagon for the next go around : )


Kleggo May 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Great to hear about the update and discounted pricing for existing users, especially because I purchased within the last few weeks. :)

A couple of requests…..

How about a dry hop schedule or calendar feature? I’d like to be able to say dry hop “x” ounces of “y” hops at day 21 of primary/secondary/etc. fermentation, for example.

Also, will there be support for adding ingredients during fermentation, such as sugars/honey/etc. added after primary ferm has settled down?

Keep up the great work!

Doug K May 9, 2011 at 4:47 am

Hope the dates don’t slip. I’m running a trial version of Beer Smith on a trial version of Crossover on my iMac. This is such great news! I almost bought some other software just because it runs natively on OS X.

j May 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

It would be great to have a mobile version for android, are there any current efforts on that?

drinkingcoffee May 13, 2011 at 4:48 am

Hi —

v2.0 is looking great! I’d like to know, will it still be wine-compatible?
That I can run it under linux was a huge factor in my decision to buy it.


estelle May 14, 2011 at 6:16 am

Sera t il en français ?

Brad Smith May 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

Yes – There is a team that has started working on the “French” version of 2.0. Not sure how long it will take them as it is an all volunteer effort.


Brad Smith May 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

We have a few beta testers running under Wine and I believe they have been doing just fine.


Brad Smith May 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

Not yet – I’m going to look at mobile platforms next but I need to get the PC/Mac versions out first!


Hector May 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Hi, I was using this program for the last two weeks, I love It, but my trial now is expired, I want to buy It, but I realice that there’s a 2.0 coming, I would LOVE to have a % for the amount in the recipes, thats a must, so Im waiting for the 2.0 to make my buy. Is there any chance I can test the beta ?


Chris Frank May 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm


I’m running BeerSmith thru VMWare on Mac OS. Can I be a v.2.0 Mac Beta tester?


jomebrew May 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

HA! Your two weeks are up ☻

Brad Smith May 19, 2011 at 8:31 am

Drop me an email.


Clive Kent May 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

As a long time user of Beersmith (2004 vintage) I find this program is indispensable for the brewing of good home brewed ales. It certainly has everything I need and much, much more.
Many thanks Brad.

Freddo May 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Hi Brad,
Are you adding a feature where you can easily create a BIAB (brew in a bag) recipe?

Freddo May 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Hi Brad,
Just thought of another feature and that is estimating alcohol content by varying mash temperature.

Brad Smith May 21, 2011 at 4:28 am

Its in BeerSmith 2 by default – the FG calculation takes into account the mash temperatures you used when estimating yeast attenuation. It’s based on the best experimental data I could find (I surveyed several sources).


Brad Smith May 21, 2011 at 4:30 am

Yes the BIAB mash profiles are also in BeerSmith 2.0 – the option forces you to do a full boil mash (i.e. BIAB) and no sparge, but also lowers the grain absorption used since BIAB generally squeezes some of the water out of the grain. From a user perspective, all you need to do is pick the BIAB mash profile to go BIAB.


Doug May 21, 2011 at 5:37 am

Hi Brad,
I just wanted to say thank you very much for adding the BIAB option to BeerSmith 2.0. I was concerned that you wouldn’t have time to write that feature into the program. Also thank you for offering a discount for exsisting BeerSmith users, I plan to pre-order this weekend. Cheers!

Tristan L May 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Here is another vote to target Ubuntu for Beer Smith deployment. I would even settle for compiling manually if necessary! If you need beta testers I am ready able and willing!

Peter May 28, 2011 at 3:28 am

I guess it’s too late for feedback, but one aspect of the current version of beersmith that I find a minor annoyance is that the ingredient field of the recipe view is rather small – I can only view 7 ingredients at a time. For a beer with a multiple hop additions, it means you cannot view the entire recipe at once (you have to use the scroll bar). In the graphical recipe display of the beta (shown above), the field has more space (maybe 10 ingredients). Ideally, it would be more, or it the field’s size would would be adjustable by dragging. The space devoted to the graphical style target seems excessively large; if it were reduced, and moved to the right, there would be more space for ingredients.

Bryon May 28, 2011 at 7:25 am

As a former PC user, I am much looking forward to the Mac version. Sign me up!

Brad Smith May 28, 2011 at 11:51 am

I have made an effort to open up space on the design tab to display more ingredients and in more detail in version 2.0.


Nath May 29, 2011 at 12:40 am

Just want to say a big thankyou for this next update, purchased already and I can’t wait. Now all we need is an iPhone app that syncs with it….. Cough cough! 😛

Keith Weiland May 29, 2011 at 1:41 am

This looks good but I wonder if it works on both Windows and Mac is there any chance of compiling this for linux also?

maddspoiler May 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Early June? What day?

Dude! May 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hey Brad,
If you have it running under Mac, recompiling for Linux should be doable. I use 1.0 under Wine now, but would love to go native. Any plans for that?

Thanks !

Brad Smith May 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Yes a Linux build is possible – I’m going to look at it after the release.


Hank May 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm

As a long time user of the original BSmith I plan to upgrade ASAP. Question on a PC can I run the current version and the new version at the same time ? I may want to start using 2.0 from scratch versus importing all the “crap” I have in my current version.

Keep up the great work

Andrew June 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

Will 2.0 have Brew in a Bag (BIAG) calculations?


dkadonh June 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I have had BeerSmith for several years (PC version), I now have a Mac, and run it in PC version only for my Beersmith program. Can I just upgrade to the Mac version and still be able to import or copy all my PC files?

I can’t brew with out BeerSmith


Thomas Ham June 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm


Is there a minimum release of OSX that this will be running on?


Brad Smith June 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Yes – It will work with all Intel-based Macs, with OSX recommended. Most of the Macs in the last few years are Intel based and should work fine with it. Unfortunately I have not had time (nor the old computers) to complete a PowerPC build yet.


Brad Smith June 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Yes you will be able to read your BeerSmith 1.x files on the Mac. You can use the export command to export your recipes to BSM files and then import those BSM files directly on the Mac.


Brad Smith June 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Yes BeerSmith 2 has support for BIAB mash profiles – it forces a full boil mash and also adjusts the grain absorption which is lower for BIAB.


Brad Smith June 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Yes the Mac version will be able to import BSM files from BeerSmith 1.4.


Brad Smith June 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Yes – you can run the old and new version side by side. You have the option of importing recipes/equipment from the old version (there is an import wizard on the PC) or waiting and doing it by hand as you need by exporting/importing bits and pieces.


Thomas Ham June 7, 2011 at 1:27 am

Perfect. I’ve got 10.5.8, which is now losing support for a lot of programs… =( Thanks a lot Brad.

Brad Smith June 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I built it for 10.5 and higher on the intel platform – hopefully that will cover most Mac users.


Tony June 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I paid for pre-order but my download isn’t working.
Message says can’t run Beersmith2 on this architecture.
I am running 10.5.8 on a PowerPC.

Any suggestions?

Macintosh Download Here
Download Macintosh Version Here: Server-1 or Server 2
Version 2.0.37 for Macintosh OSX/10.5/Leopard or higher

holdonowgo June 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm

You HAVE to fix printing a shopping list. As of now, you can only print one item at a time. It’s useless to me if I can’t print the list out to take to the brew store with me.

holdonowgo June 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Also, is there any way to view the total cost for the shopping list?

Glenn June 12, 2011 at 1:21 am


Can you run on a 64 bit pc or will program need to be run in compatability mode?


Brad Smith June 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

It runs on 64 bit PC’s just fine – I’m running Windows 7 64 bit myself and have for all of the development.


Brad Smith June 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

To print out the shopping list, use the big “Print List” icon on the ribbon about three over from the left.


Brad Smith June 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

But I will add that (total cost for shopping list) as quickly as I can.


Brad Smith June 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Try the “uncompressed DMG” link I posted last night – for some reason some people were having problems unpacking the compressed DMG file. I still don’t know why this is the case since it was created with the standard Mac disk tools — but most have had success with the uncompressed DMG if they could not open the compressed DMG.

If that still does not work please send me a message via the contact-us link on the site and I’ll try to help you work through the problem.


Keith Spencer August 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Hi Brad,

Thank you for all the effort and time you’ve put into this new app! This is an amazing project. My brewing partners are running Windows and I’m on a Mac. It is wonderful to be finally able to use the same brewing application and share recipes easily.

A couple of comments on the current build.

Please, please remove (or, even better, allow the user to remove) the word “My” from Recipes. It’s inconsistent (you aren’t saying My Equipment, My Water, My Profiles, My Ingredients etc.) and it’s inaccurate (I have others’ recipes in there including your samples).

I noticed that my trackpad scrolling and mouse scroll wheel work everywhere except in a recipe window. Is this going to be a challenge to correct?

Looking forward to being able to import my BeerAlchemy xml files soon.

Cheers and happy brewing,
Keith Spencer
High Noon Brewing Company

Pp September 1, 2011 at 7:31 am

Does the french translation now exist for the 2.0 or 2.4?

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